Poems from the past

PUBLISHED: 12:16 25 June 2014

Terry with his family in Cyprus, 1958

Terry with his family in Cyprus, 1958


When Jake Hurley discovered his late grandfather’s old typewritten poems, he published them as a tribute. Here he tells Devon Life the story

In 2005, I was given a folder of dog-eared, typewritten poems following the death of my grandfather, Terry. I kept them in a safe place, untouched, until I rediscovered them in 2012. I started to type up and re-read one poem at the end of each day and realized that I had something special here.

I was always in awe of Terry when I was growing up, and with each poem I learned more about him; about his perspective on life and his passion for the written word.

My first and most enduring memory of Terry is one of commanding presence and personal charisma. A great raconteur and amateur actor, he could hold court with an unerring sense of humour one minute, and be dancing on the family dinner table ‘playing the spoons’ the next.

Above all, Terry lived a full life. After serving in the Army during the war, he aligned his career with his life-long passion for literature and language. Although Exeter was always his base, he taught French, Latin and English as a foreign language in countries as diverse as England, Cyprus, Pakistan, Singapore and Greece. He was also an active member of Amnesty International and constantly wrote letters of support to those imprisoned unjustly around the world.

Jake Hurley published his grandfather's poems as a tributeJake Hurley published his grandfather's poems as a tribute

Once I had typed up the poems, I decided to publish them as a tribute to the late, great Terry Hurley. His daughter, Teresa kindly sent me family photos and captions, and wrote the foreword and biography. I then commissioned high-quality, freelance typesetting and design from Amy Buxton, a Senior Book Designer from the St. Louis, Missouri branch of Elsevier, the publishing company for whom I work.

The poetry book is now available on Amazon and has been receiving most favourable reviews. The quality of Terry’s poems is without question and they touch upon many human conditions – love, war and justice, to name but a few. They deserve to resonate with a wider audience.

The Daphne Tree: Selected Poems by George Edward Terence Hurley is available to buy from Amazon, £7.99.

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